The Family Education Center (FEC) is an alternative program in which pregnant students can be guided to achieve their academic goals. The FEC addresses the challenges facing teenagers who are becoming parents by providing vocational and parenting instruction as well as health and social services within the curriculum.
Class work is molded to the student’s needs where one-on-one teaching and independent study are often provided. During a routine school year, the FEC offers more than 70 distinct courses.
Students may enter the FEC at various stages of pregnancy and maintain their home school classes. The student may participate in the program until she has her post-birth six-week medical checkup. Afterwards, she is expected to return to her home school and complete requirements for her high school diploma.
The FEC enlists community support and volunteers to help pregnant teens stay in school. While nationally only 20 percent of pregnant or parenting teens graduate from high school, Arlington’s track record is significantly higher, topping 65 percent. The Family Education Center also provides an opportunity for young fathers and family members to participate in educational and social programs.
The program includes instruction in:
- academic and vocational courses
- consumer education
- pre- and postnatal care
- career planning
- family relations
- employment skills